The protest gathered at West Cliff Gardens near Folkestone and Hythe MP Damian Collins’s office Photo: Ray Duff

Words and pictures by Ray Duff – On Saturday morning, more than 150 gathered for a second protest over Kent County Council’s closure, of Folkestone Library due to water damage.

Protesters came along to voice their great concerns and included members of local political parties, local historians, archaeology and arts groups and families with their children.

The parade, with banners, march through the Town Centre Photo: Ray Duff

Since the first protest on the 25 March, more people and groups have joined the campaign, with the New Folkestone Society acting as a broad-based, non-political umbrella group to co-ordinate further campaigns.

The larger demonstration outside Folkestone Library Photo: Ray Duff

Their first action has been to send a protest letter to KCC, signed by a cross-section of local groups who are angry at the closure and the possible running down of a Grade II listed building. Further groups have added their name since then.  In addition a petition has been set up on KCC’s website, a Friends of Folkestone Library groups and a save Folkestone Library group has been set-up.

The letter sent to KCC

Where was our MP Damian Collins?

It was felt by many at the protest that MP Damian Collins’s plan is woefully inadequate, also wondering why he wasn’t even present at the event.  People opposed the removal of the books and heritage collections to elsewhere as  they felt that once the building was empty it would be all too easy for KCC to stonewall over repairing and re-opening it, leaving it to rot faster and further and end up saying it was beyond such.

The plan to approach the Arts Council for a third tranche of money was given only a very cautious welcome, as there would still be no guarantee of winning such a bid and it would also likely take a long time for the work to even start should it be available.

A library user makes her point Photo: Ray Duff

During the last week, people have said they have found it increasingly difficult to access other Libraries, due to travel costs and time.

Some elderly people are still very concerned over health issues of having to do so.   One person had also reportedly traveled all the way from Portsmouth, having been unable to phone through, to access the valuable heritage collection, only to return very angry and disappointed.  People are suffering through the loss of the main Library.

Lots of support for the demonstration Photo: Ray Duff

Further events to develop the campaign are in the planning stage and it is hoped to obtain high profile authors and artists to support it.

A petition has been set up on KCC’s website:

Further information can be found at:

New Folkestone Society: –

Download of the letter to KCC:

Save Folkestone Library :

Friends of Folkestone Library:

By Ed

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